Asfour, Omar S. and Samar Abu Ghali. "Urban Development Strategies of City Centers: The Case of Rafah City, Palestinian Territories." Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 8, issue 3 (2014): 195-206.
City centers worldwide are perceived as essential parts of the city, where city memories are preserved and its identity is expressed. They are planned to satisfy the functional requirements and pleasurable qualities of the city. Under the accelerating urbanization of the modern city, several challenges face these centers including demographic, economic, and environmental challenges. This requires a continuous and incremental urban development process based on clear strategy and action plans. Thus, this study focuses on urban development strategies of city centers, with a focus on Rafah city located in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Territories. The geographic location of this city near the Palestinian-Egyptian borders makes it a promising commercial city at local and regional levels. Thus, the current situation of Rafah city center has been analyzed, and several development strategies have been proposed. This has been done through a field survey based on observation and a questionnaire directed to city center users. It has been found that there is a great potential of Rafah city center to be developed as a commercial center. In this regard, several strategies and required actions have been proposed in the fields of transportation, environmental quality, shopping activities, investment
opportunities, and visual perception.
Keywords: Urban development; City center; Development strategy; the Gaza Strip.